COSTA RICA - SHORT-TERM TO LONG-TERM PARTNER

COSTA RICA
SHORT-TERM TO LONG-TERM PARTNER

Be a part of an ten-day mission adventure to Costa Rica in January 2017 to continue to grow FPCB’s partnership with Capilla del Camino and work side by side with our mission partners in their local outreach. You’ll discover new life with Christ and experience the life and personal testimonies of local church members in a way you never could imagine. For more information on this mission trip, CLICK HERE.

This year marks our fifth year into our long-term international church-to-church partnership with Capilla del Camino. Our partnership with Capilla del Camino is intended to give both partners the opportunity to experience how the other expresses their faith in Jesus Christ, to see their faith with new eyes and to grow in their daily walk with Christ.

WHAT IS LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP?

A long-term partnership is a commitment of defined length, in this case at least five years, formed between two churches in different parts of the world.  The commitment gives the two churches an opportunity to build relationships that are life-changing and rooted in Jesus Christ for the building up of the body of Christ for ministry. Members of both congregations visit each other’s church and stay in local homes. They see and experience first-hand how the other partner expresses their faith in Christ in daily life. A long-term partnership provides mutual opportunities for growth as disciples of Christ.

WHY CAPILLA DEL CAMINO?

A small team began learning about church-to-church partnerships several years ago, followed by a time of considering our international connections and mission partners as possibilities. The Tirrases church emerged through the process of prayer and evaluating selective criteria.  FPCB’s past friendship with Capilla del Camino and the ongoing relationships that developed were viewed as a positive factor. For example, in 2011 and 2012 STM teams traveled to Costa Rica to help clean a part of the church property that was being used to develop a feeding program for very young children whose mothers are working during the day.

In early July 2013, the Long-term Partnership Development Team traveled to Costa Rica to meet the church community and to discuss guidelines and goals and develop a Covenant between the two churches. A second mission team visited Tirrases in mid-August to continue to build relationships and to experience the context of life there. The team had the opportunity to travel with church families to the Pacific Coast region near Parrita, where men from the church had been building a house for a widow. Together, the FPCB team and the Capilla del Camino completed the house that weekend.

Teams were sent from FPCB again in 2014 and 2015 to join Capilla del Camino in their ministry to their community.

CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP

In March this year, four of our partners were sent out as a team from Tirrases, Costa Rica on an eight-day adventure to visit and encourage us, as their sister church in Bethlehem.  They served with us at New Bethany and the Hispanic Center.  They led a Bible study in the heart of the Southside at El Camino Fellowship, our small fellowship in that part of the city. They met with our youths, worshiped with us, joined small groups, prayed with those who were sick or in need of encouragement. They experienced a cross-cultural immersion as they lived in the homes of our church members and shared personal testimonies. 

In 2017 we will continue to serve alongside our partners in their community outreaches. As a team is built, participants should expect to work hard yet find an equal amount of spiritual refreshment as they step out in faith, worship, and service.  If interested please contact Beth Peters at bpeters@fpcbethlehem.org.


PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

MEAGHAN SEYBERT
FROM THE SUMMER HEARTBEAT 2016

Two summers ago I went on the mission trip to Costa Rica that changed my life. Last July I decided to go back. The people I met along the way were amazing examples of Christians I aspired to be more like. They were kind, honest, and completely trusting in the Lord. Despite our slight language barrier, we connected on very personal levels. I learned more about my faith than I thought possible on that trip. The first time I went to Costa Rica, it was one week with mostly friends. Last summer, I went with a smaller group for two weeks. Though we went to the same place both times, they were completely different experiences. The Lord has opened my eyes to a different way if worshiping Him.  A different world.  A different culture. Yet we all worship and look up to the same God. It still amazes me that the Lord has given me the opportunity, not only once, but twice, to serve Him in such a powerful way. It has definitely impacted the way I view the Christian faith and I am so grateful for that.